Former Walloon MP denied compensation after murder acquittal

Former Walloon MP denied compensation after murder acquittal

A claim for monetary compensation by former Walloon MP Bernard Westphael, who spent 10 months in prison pending trial for manslaughter, was on Thursday denied by Belgium's justice minister.

Westphael submitted the request for compensation after he was acquitted in 2016 for the murder of his wife, in a trial that captured public attention.

In a statement obtained by Sudpresse, Justice Minister Koen Geens said he would not grant indemnities to Westphael, citing the former defendant's "behaviour" at the time of the events.

"It was Mr Westphael's behaviour that led to his detention," Geens is quoted as saying. "The acquittal statement also highlights a number of troubling elements, such as the defendant's attitude following the death of his wife."

The former Walloon politician could've been compensated with up to €30,000.

He reportedly appealed the decision, according to local media, which will be examined within 60 days.

The Brussels Times

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